The name "Mercedes-Benz" has become strongly synonymous with luxury automobiles over many years. Today, this brand is more far more renowned than that of its parent company, Daimler AG (heard of them?!). Only last year, the German company sold 2.31 million passenger cars under the Mercedes-Benz brand, making it the world's biggest-selling premium vehicle brand.
It's no coincidence that the brand's slogan is "the best or nothing". Mercedes-Benz has carefully crafted marketing objectives that pursue what could be termed "commensal marketing", a strand of co-marketing. Here's how they did it to shape the future of Mercedes-Benz for the long term.
What Is A Co-Marketing Strategy?
The world of co-marketing, sometimes known as commensal marketing, is essentially a strategy whereby two companies come together to co-brand, and co-promote a product, or piece of content.
This can still combine all the standard modes of marketing, including the classic “4 Ps” (product, price, place, promotion) or the later “4 Cs” model (commodity, cost, channel and communication).
In the multimodal world of modern digital marketing, a co-marketing strategy is likely to involve a combination of targeted social marketing, high impact messaging, and inspiring video – and this is exactly what Mercedes-Benz did to dramatic effect.
Engaging both the popular outdoor clothing brand, North Face, and a group of already renowned photographers, Mercedes-Benz plotted a lengthy 3,000 km trip from Canada through to Alaska, with its co-marketing partners in-tow. The official hashtag of the partnership was the positive, and distinctly collaborative: #Mbfacingthenorth
Constantly creating content along the way, the campaign took in the long-distance drive, which enables the brand to show off its G-class model and off-road capabilities, while stopping off for plenty of strategically documented fun along the way.
The Content Creation
Alongside the picaresque recording of the journey, the campaign snapped glorious videos and images of the group hiking, kayaking, visiting glaciers and ice caves, and essentially adventuring at every stage of the journey.
This enables Mercedes-Benz to not just show the incredible on and off-road features of the G-class vehicle, but also show the more intangible benefits of owning such a vehicle. Freedom, fun, and exploration were recorded at every stage of the journey, ideally reaching to the very heart of the campaign’s accompanying slogan – “Never Stop Exploring”.
As one of the first brands to use Instagram stories in this co-marketing capacity, Mercedes-Benz (and North Face) were able to successfully showcase the campaign to an astonishing 47 million people overall. Having the photographers along for the ride also gave each individual the opportunity to add to their portfolio, and spread the quality of their work to an international audience.
From the human point of view, Mercedes-Benz partnering with a lifestyle brand, and a number of professional photographers, portrayed the brand not only in an adventurous way – but also showed a degree of humility too.
The luxury brand was connected to freedom and opportunity, as opposed to wealth and exclusivity, and matched the desire of Mercedes-Benz to reach out to a younger audience, and secure long term trust in its brand.
With social media channels, and Instagram stories, in particular, used as the main platforms for marketing (or co-marketing) the campaign, Mercedes-Benz, North Face, and everyone else involved had the perfect channels close at hand to engage the right people, at the right time, from start to finish.
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